What is a Shadow City?

"A city, municipality or other jurisdictional area that is overshadowed, and thus overpowered by a larger city that is global in nature and possesses more resources such as expertise, enterprise, money, and national government investment."

— Marsha Martin (2011), Get Screened Oakland, an initiative of the Office of the Mayor of Oakland

Faced with challenges and crises similar to its neighboring communities, the Shadow City does not have the same level of infrastructure to respond. Very often the Shadow City lacks the resources of its neighbor such as wealth, commercial enterprise or the intellectual and/or human capital to respond as effectively to various issues including public health crises such as HIV/AIDS. This creates a problem for individuals, neighborhoods and agencies residing in Shadow Cities, as they are not given the systemic resources, visibility or community resources to address their dire health needs.

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